By 1969, the Company had applied numbers to their fleet of locomotives and “The Ruston” became number 304. By 1971, operations had ceased and the locomotive was donated the Mile End Railway Museum, the predecessor of today’s National Railway Museum (NRM).
In April 2017, the NRM loaned the locomotive to the Port Milang Historic Railway Museum for restoration. That was completed in a year and a half and “The Ruston” is maintained in running condition on the Museum’s two foot gauge tramway. The Museum also has a complete set of the locomotive operating and maintenance manuals and a sale brochure.
The photos below were taken by Arnold Lockyer on 27th January 1947 while the original order is shown alongside.
The Ruston Hornsby 44/48 Diesel
“The Ruston” was built in the first half of 1938 by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd of Lincoln In England. It was a member of that company’s Class 44/48 and its builders number is 187078. The engine is a 48 HP 4VRO number 392572 with a mechanical transmission. It was fitted in place of the original in 1956. The track gauge is two feet.
It was shipped to Ruston & Hornsby (Australia) in Melbourne on 5th July 1938 at the second attempt. The first time it was dropped at the London Docks and had to be returned to Lincoln for repairs.
“The Ruston” was owned by the Waratah Gypsum Company and was employed at their salt and gypsum harvesting operation at Stenhouse Bay at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula.